Facebook – The Great Search for New Faces

By Yonatan Gordon

One of the properties of a true Torah teacher and leader (a Moses figure) is that everyday he envisions his people for blessing; closing his eyes in order to think and contemplate all the Jewish souls that he knows and is connected to.

To be a dynamic personality you need to always be on the move and being on the move vis-à-vis Moses is always moving in the expression of love for every Jew–from one soul to another soul.

Sometimes people say that it’s enough to just love all of the Jewish people. But it’s not enough to just say that I am going to love the whole; I have to individually love the particulars as well. It’s not enough to say that I love everybody. I have to love individually.

I have to be able to give each person 100% percent of my attention. It’s called to be enclosed, lehitlabesh, I have to be able to encloth myself 100% with this person.

Finding New Faces

In Jewish thought, there is one person who loves looking at all the faces of the people and all the people love looking his face.  The verse that describes this in the Torah is: “The beauty of a king your eyes shall perceive.” That is the way to identify the king. This is an important example of what the Zohar means when it says that there is an opportunity to perceive the king. Whoever is a truly connected soul will run to see the king (and the King), and he does not want anything else but the opportunity to see the king in all of his beauty. The same is true of the king, who also does not demand anything; he just enjoys looking at his people. This is the principle of psychological complementarity stated in the verse: “As water mirrors a face, so the heart of a man reflects his fellow’s heart.” The king is he who loves to look at everyone.

Seeing faces is perhaps the greatest visual contact point between inner and external reality. To truly see the face of another means to be wise enough to perceive the whole life story of another.  The book which they are now presently writing in this world.

When a king sees a new face they are seeing and appreciating another person within their kingdom. The more faces they see, the greater their individual appreciation of the individual members within their reign.

There is a Jewish adage that “there is no king without a people.” In other words, a king is not a king if he does not have a kingdom, i.e., subjects. By looking at the face and into the eyes of each of his subjects, he is collectively amassing the great library of intellectual scope of his reign. The more people he includes within, the greater his intellectual capacity expands to cater to each individual member of his populace.

If we see ourselves as subjects then it is likely that we find ourselves drawn to celebrities, famous people and the like. We are searching is align with king-like personalities, and until our objective is achieved, the search continues.

If our aim is to connect with like-minded personalities, friends and peers, then our objective is to collectively build a community and appoint a leader to lead over this new-formed group.

An example of this latter approach would also be Wikipedia (or any form of crowdsourcing) where individual editors gather together in the hopes of a greater sense of community. Twitter would seem more of the former approach as more people who Tweet view themselves already in a leadership position (whether celebrities, journalists, politicians, etc…).

Facebook is unique in that it signifies both approaches. There are people that join in order to feel part of a community; and there are people follow that celebrities, businesses etc…, in the hopes that they represent leadership.

So what is a “facebook”?

It alludes to the ongoing story (book) of our life. Why is there such emphasis on posting updates on Facebook?  Hearing worthwhile remarks from our friends and peers is an attempt to hear and be witness to the greater book and encyclopedia being written.  The ongoing storybook of God’s Creation.

What then is the aspiration to connect with famous people? If connecting with friends helps us hear the books of our friends, connecting with a true teacher and leader lets our book be seen by them. Ideally, this happens from a Moses figure who looks at our faces and reads our entire lifetime in an instant.

By Divine Providence, the last name of the founder of this company (“sweet mountain”) alludes to this sweetness to be found in the faces of others. Indeed, true Torah leaders read and uncover a mountain of sweetness in the faces of their students and followers.


One thought on “Facebook – The Great Search for New Faces

  1. Pingback: Facebook IPO: Going Public within Ourselves « Community of Readers

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